Originally Posted by Yachtzee
This is one of the reasons why baseball has taken a back seat to football in many parts of the country. The NFL has done a great job of creating a structure where star talent is spread throughout the league and ensuring that the best teams get primetime exposure regardless of market size. By allowing their national broadcast partners to punt the smaller markets in favor of short-term ratings wins by featuring the big market teams, MLB is pretty much telling large sections of the country that they're not important. If they had a better long-term strategy to build up the quality of teams across the league and ensure that more teams got national exposure, maybe baseball would still be the National Pastime.
The Pirates haven't been on in 12 years , but the NFL has been kicking MLB butts on TV since the 70's, no amount of Pirates or Reds games on Sunday is going to change that, football is a perfect TV sport played when the weather is bad.
Baseball does just fine without worrying about football and all the games are on anyway, whether ESPN deems them worthy or not.